Protect Your Dock With Proper Maintenance

As a boat owner, you understand that the condition of your boat is sometimes a direct reflection of the condition of your dock. A dock that is poorly maintained can cause damage to your vessel so keeping dock maintenance at the top of your list becomes a priority. If you've been neglecting maintenance for your dock, make sure you know what important steps you need to take.

Keep the Space Clean

Don't leave your cleaning efforts to Mother Nature. It's important that you apply some elbow grease from time to time to keep the space clean. Hard water stains, such as calcium lines, can form along the sides of the dock. You don't want to allow an excessive amount to collect as this can damage the wood. As for the upper surface, organic matter and bird waste can also cause staining. A water hose and mild detergent scrubbed into the surface with a hard-bristled broom is generally an effective cleaning method.

Update Fasteners

It's also important to ensure all fasteners are in good condition. Generally, provided you are using an appropriate, dock-rated, fastener, you can expect to get a decent amount of use out of a fastener; however, they don't last forever. Over time, they can start to show signs of rust or corrosion. At this point you need to replace the fastener immediately. A fastener in this poor of a condition isn't secure and puts the structural integrity of the entire dock in jeopardy.

Don't Over Treat Wood

When the dock was first installed, you likely had the wood treated and sealed. After this, the treatment company suggested that the process be repeated routinely to prevent damage to the wood. Take this with a grain of salt. Over treating wood with too much sealant can also prevent the natural drying out process of lumbar, preventing moisture from escaping. This scenario can cause accelerated wear and deterioration. If you have a professional sealant applied, one application is generally sufficient for the life of the dock.

Inspect Bumpers

Always make it a practice to inspect the condition of the bumpers installed around the dock. Remember, the bumpers are the only thing that's keeping your boat from slamming into the dock, which is highly likely in even mildly rough waters, and causing damage. Similar to fasteners, bumpers can start to fail or detach over time. However, quickly spotting an issue and repairing or replacing the bumper will minimize the risk of damage and protect your boat.